Ireland held by Montenegro in Dublin

DUBLIN - Ireland warmed up for next month's World Cup play-offs by maintaining their unbeaten Group Eight record with a 0-0 draw at home to Montenegro in their final qualifier on Wednesday.

The hosts had already secured a place in the playoffs and the match predictably played out like a friendly, memorable only for goalkeeper Shay Given and defender Kevin Kilbane making their 100th international appearances.

Branko Boskovic should have headed eliminated Montenegro in front on the half hour before Richard Dunne went even closer for the Irish, the crossbar denying the Aston Villa defender his third goal of the campaign.

Montenegro were denied a clear penalty on 66 minutes when Paul McShane handled Simon Vukcevic's goalbound effort while team mate Milorad Pekovic left a different mark, ending the campaign with a yellow card in each match he played in.